From Cupcakes to Traditional Korean Food and Everything in Between

3 Ingredient Korean Melon Bars {Melona Ice Cream Bar}

As with most of my childhood memories the fondest ones I have revolve around food.  Melona bars were a delicious treat I enjoyed every summer I visited Korea.  They were a dazzling combination of thick and creamy paired with bright and sweet, tasting of the most refreshing cool melon.  Just the sound of the crinkling wrapper or smell of melon can instantly transport me back to those sweltering summer days I spent with the neighborhood girls playing the rubber band game, only taking breaks for salty dried fish snacks and these melon bars {our juvenile discovery into the amazing world of sweet and salty}.

 

 

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
3 Ingredient Korean Melon Bars {Melona Ice Cream Bar}
 
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Author:
Serves: 6 Pops
Ingredients
  • ½ c cold heavy cream
  • 1 c honey dew/Korean melon
  • ⅓ c sweetened condensed mik
Instructions
  1. Whisk the cream until soft peaks form, meaning the whipped cream is thick and billowy and the peaks softly curl over.
  2. Blend the melon and sweetened condensed milk and carefully fold into the whipped cream.
  3. Evenly pour into the cups then wrap in foil and wedge a popsicle stick into each one.
  4. Freeze to set {about 4 hours} and enjoy!
Notes
Korean melon 참외 is traditional.

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

Korean LA Rice Cakes 찹쌀떡

Growing up, I would have these squidgy little rice cakes on-the-go for breakfast.  A Korean hybrid granola bar, if you will.  Inside these chewy baked rice cakes, my mother would pack in a traditional mix of adzuki beans, chestnuts or raisins and as a child, I was happy to enjoy them as they were delightfully soft and gently sweet.  I didn’t realize until later how precious these little rice cakes were as they were first produced in the spirit of nostalgia by homesick Korean immigrants who settled in California, specifically Los Angeles.  Instead of the traditional steaming method followed by the tedious pounding and stretching of the dough, these rice cakes could be assembled in as little as 10 minutes with easily accessible ingredients that could be baked with a regular oven.

 

 

 

 

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Korean LA Rice Cakes 찹쌀떡
 
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Author:
Serves: 1 dozen minis
Ingredients
  • 1½ c sweet rice/glutinous rice flour {not regular rice flour}
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • ¼ ts fine salt
  • 1¼ c water {or whole milk}
  • 1 ts pure vanilla extract {or almond}
  • 1 c of add-ins like nuts or dried fruit
  • {We always added cooked adzuki beans and sometimes chestnuts or raisins
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk in all the dry ingredients.
  2. Pour in the milk and extract. Blend until smooth.
  3. Fold in your desired add ins. I added 1 c adzuki beans.
  4. Pour into lined cupcake tins or a greased and parchment lined pan. {These will stick like crazy!}
  5. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes. It is ready when the rice cake is dry, chewy, and has a browned top.
  6. Cool completely before serving and drizzle with brown rice syrup or honey if desired.

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

Bacon Jerky

J is the biggest bacon lover I’ve ever met.  I thought I was a fan of bacon until I met him.  When we first started dating, we swapped silly stories and his was about that time he consumed a pound of bacon every day for a week.  Can you imagine my dramatic jaw drop?  In his defense, he’d just turned 16 and gotten his drivers license and it had occurred to him on the drive home from school that he could take himself wherever he’d like.  This newfound freedom found him making a beeline to the nearest market for his favorite indulgence and lo and behold, that infamous week where he ate nothing but bacon {not really but a pound a day is still crazy extreme}.  I’m happy to report that today, his blood pressure and cholesterol levels are normal but we still enjoy our hot weekend breakfasts complete with bacon, eggs, and pancakes every Saturday morning…and once in awhile, I’ll whip up his favorite bacon jerky, this honey sriracha infused one that he claims only elevates his favorite food.  Now that’s saying something.

 

 

 

5.0 from 3 reviews
Bacon Jerky
 
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Author:
Serves: 10-12 pieces
Ingredients
  • ½ lb thick cut antibiotic free bacon
  • 2 tb sriracha sauce
  • 2 tb raw honey
Instructions
  1. Drape each slice on a baking rack that's fitted on a baking sheet to collect the grease. I chopped mine in half for easier handling.
  2. Bake at 200* {or your lowest heat setting} for 2-3 hours. Occasionally, blot each piece.
  3. If using a dehydrator {which is much easier} transfer to a dehydrator. If not, continue in the oven. Half way in, flavor with anything you want. I painted each slice with a combination of sriracha and honey.
  4. Allow the dehydrator {or oven} to go for 3-4 hours or until its reached your desired texture. It will take longer in the oven.

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

Chocolate Easter Eggs

These cute edible chocolate eggs are the perfect vessel to hide your Easter treats in plus, they only require balloons and candy.  I mean, how fun is that?

 

 

 

 

5.0 from 4 reviews
Chocolate Easter Eggs
 
Prep time
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Ingredients
  • ½ c chopped white chocolate bar per each balloon
  • Zipper bags
  • Candy
  • Optional: food colors, clothes pins.
Instructions
  1. Melt the chopped chocolate in short 20-30 second bursts, going low and slow to avoid scorching the chocolate. If using chocolate chips, consider the double boiler method.
  2. Allow the chocolate to slightly cool then transfer into zipper bags. Snip off the end before using.
  3. Blow up balloons to desired size and slowly begin dragging melted chocolate onto them. Reinforce them by making the chocolate thicker all around the balloon but making an open space on top to not only extract the balloon later but to fill candy into it as well.
  4. Allow to set {you can lean it on silpat/parchment/wax or use a clothes pin and hang it on something to keep its shape}.
  5. When dried, carefully pop the balloon and slowly pull it out of the space you created on top and fill with candies of your choice.

Happy Easter!

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

Homemade Soda From Scratch

Soda isn’t typically something I have on a regular basis.  It’s something I enjoy as a treat.  To further elevate this indulgence, I like to take it a step further and customize my drink by making my own.  Homemade soda is a fun little project, especially if you have children.  It’s simple and delicious, with most of it being inactive time, waiting for your drink to get fizzy and full of bubbles all on its own.

 

 

 

5.0 from 4 reviews
Homemade Soda From Scratch
 
Author:
Serves: 1 Jug
Ingredients
  • 2-3 tb orange zest {plus 1 tb soda extract for stronger flavor}
  • 1 c sugar
  • ½ c water
  • ⅛ ts champagne yeast*
  • ¼ c orange juice
  • 7 c water
  • *For cream soda, add vanilla and/or cream.
Instructions
  1. In a pot, combine the zest, sugar, and ½ c water. Simmer on low for 2 hours. Then strain/cool slightly.
  2. In a clean bpa-free jug {glass or plastic but plastic is easier to gauge} fill with the champagne yeast, orange juice, 7 cups of water, and the slightly cooled sugar syrup. The warmth from it will activate the yeast.
  3. Gently {not vigorously} shake the jug to mix the ingredients unless you want this to happen : {video scene at 2 minutes 41 seconds}.
  4. Leave the jug at room temperature for 12-48 hours. Lightly squeeze against the {plastic} bottle to test. If it's firm, it's ready and may need a quick open to "breathe."
  5. Chill and serve. You may strain out the yeast if desired {it's completely edible}. If there's any left, remember to open the jug each day to allow it to "breathe" or the video scene I mentioned above can happen again. Too much handling or warmer temperatures can build up pressure inside of your jug and create a fun, albeit a very sticky soda explosion.
Notes
*Champagne yeast yields the best flavor but bread yeast will do in a pinch. It will just take on a stronger taste {some find unpleasant}. You may also use brewers yeast.
As with most fermented drinks, it will have a naturally occurring alcohol content by volume of <1% if this is something that concerns you, you can simply combine the syrup with sparkling water instead.

I found my champagne yeast here: http://amzn.to/1DriMTU

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

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